Knowing what an ABBA nutcase I am, quite a few people have asked me what I reckon to the pair of new ABBA tracks that came streaming out of the streaming services earlier this evening. So I thought I’d write a few quick early thoughts down.
- They sound like ABBA (good).
- They sound like records played and sung by musicians in their seventies, as opposed to ABBA trying to sound like they’re in their forties or even thirties (very, very good).
- The vocals are not drowned in compression and autotune (absolutely brilliant).
- Both songs are swamped in strings (bad).
- The drummer of the first track sounds a bit too good, and not necessarily a drummer ABBA have used before (meh).
- The drummer of the second track sounds, unless I’m very much mistaken, like Per Lindvall, who drummed on Super Trouper and the Mamma Mia film (great).
- The first song sounds like something from Chess (not great, but understandable).
- The second track sounds like Dancing Queen meets If It Wasn’t For The Nights (could be worse).
- The lyrics sound like they’re written about actual situations and feelings that they’re actually experiencing right now, and might even have been written in the studio (brilliant).
- I can’t remember either of the melodies now (bad).
All in all… not bad, certainly not the auto-tune laden disaster I feared, and really quite good. Better still, one actually feels like there are some real anticipation and nerves going on within the band; a vulnerability that cuts through the music and hints at the essential, raw listening experience of the band’s best tracks. I’m no longer fearing more new ABBA songs, but looking forward to them. In fact, by jingo, I’ve pre-order the record…